BY Ian Dunn | June 12 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


Assisted suicide comes back before MPs

Just weeks after the Scottish Parliament rejected an attempt to legalise assisted suicide, English politicians could vote to force it on Britain.

Labour MP Rob Marris will bring the Assisted Dying Bill before MPs in September. If passed it would cover England and Wales but would set precedent for Scotland. The bill is expected to single out people who are terminally ill or have disabilities as candidates for help to die.

John Deighan  of pro-life charity SPUC Scotland said the issues return to the headlines showed the ‘relentless’ efforts from supporters of assisted suicide and euthanasia.

“Legalising it in England and Wales would of course create pressure on Scottish MPs to do likewise,” he said. “And you could have people travelling to Carlisle to be euthanised under this new law.

“We are disturbed that Rob Marris MP has chosen to prioritise the issue of assisted suicide.”

Mr Deighan added that ‘establishing laws which endorse the view that some people are better off dead creates a regime which endangers the weakest members of society.’

The bill will be based on legislation championed by former lord chancellor Lord Falconer of Thornton who ran out of time to bring the bill before the House of Lords, before MPs had a chance to consider a change in the law.

Mr Marris claimed he spoke for ‘the vast majority of the public.’

“It is a choice that I would want for myself and I do not think we should be denying this to people who are facing an imminent death,” he said. “The House of Commons has not voted on this issue for almost 20 years.”

Last year Prime Minister David Cameron and the former Labour and Liberal Democrat leaders Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg all signalled they would allow their MPs a free vote on the issue if it came before the Commons.


—This story ran in full in the June12 edition print of the SCO, available in parishes.

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